After 16 years, the Dave Loos era has officially come to an end,at least, when it comes to the athletics department as a whole. Sunday was Loos’ final day as the nation’s only remaining Division I Athletic Director / head coach, as Derek Van Der Merwe takes over the first of Loos positions.
The change allows Loos to return his full attention to men’s basketball.
Loos’ years were full of successes: during his last 13-years at AD, Austin Peay won 33 regular-season and tournament titles. His final year alone, three programs: men’s golf, men’s tennis, and baseball won the OVC title. Serving as both AD and head coach saved the school about four million dollars over his decade and a half. During his tenure, the school’s athletic budget more than quadrupled, football returned to campus, and until recently he did all of it as his men’s basketball team competed year in and year out at the top of the conference.
How much of an impact the previous two seasons’ struggles on the court had in Loos’ stepping down will likely never be known for sure. But now one of the most successful coaches in recent conference history is being given a chance for a comeback, at just 66-years old, returning his sole attention to the court which bears his name.
While it’s not the path many expected, Loos is being given the chance to go out on top, whether that be 5 years or 20 years from now.
Just don’t expect me to ask him when that will be.